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2019 Climate & Energy Advocacy Training

Thursday, June 13, 7 pm to 9 pm at Temple Beth Elohim, 10 Bethel Road, Wellesley 

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Please join us at the upcoming 2019 Climate and Energy Advocacy Trainingpresented by the Massachusetts Sierra Club and Mass Power Forward Coalition.  This training will provide a valuable update on clean energy, climate, and environmental justice priorities for this legislative session and share action steps and tools you can use to help move these priorities forward. You’ll hear from Sierra Club trainers and local environmental leaders.

This training will:

  • outline key legislation to expand renewable energy and reduce climate pollution in Massachusetts
  • explain why equity and environmental justice matter and how they are central to the Mass Power Forward Coalition’s climate agenda
  • share action steps you can take and tools to prepare you to engage effectively with state and local officials
  • answer your questions about the clean energy landscape in our state.

Join us for this informative evening and let’s come together to make real progress on a just clean energy transition in our communities and across Massachusetts.  No prior experience required!

Registration requested.  Please use this Sign-Up link.

Co-sponsors include First Parish in Needham UU Green Congregation Committee, Green Needham Collaborative, Jewish Alliance for Law & Social Action, Jewish Climate Action Network, Sustainable Wellesley, Temple Beth Elohim Green Team, Temple Beth Shalom, UU Wellesley Hills, and Wellesley Village Church.

Phyllis Theermann
Photo: Becky Wasserman, Resonant Energy

Photo: Becky Wasserman, Resonant Energy

Don’t Delay Your Solar Decision: Financial and Environmental Costs Will Only Rise

Easy Ways to Make 2017 Your Solar Year

After installing solar panels on it’s roof, Wellesley’s Temple Beth Elohim received a lot of interest among the congregants about home solar options and thus organized a Home Solar Forum last week.

This event was timely as the State’s SREC program will expire in less than a year so folks wanting to take advantage of extra enticing financial benefits should act soon. Massachusetts residents must have their systems installed and *interconnected* by March, 2018 to take advantage of the current SREC2 program. The potential of a major tax reform is another reason people should act rather than wait.

Why should you consider solar?
Beyond the urgency of local climate change, solar ensures our community health and resilience, while investments yield more than two times the return of a typical investment.

“Our 8,710 (Watts STC) solar system is projected to generate over $70,000 over 25 years,” said Bev Rich of Natick at the Home Solar Forum event.

How to get started.
EnergySage, the “Kayak or Expedia of solar,” is a good place to start. This website allows users to obtain competing solar quotes easily online. The Boston-based company’s product scours 400 screened contractors and provides up to 7 unbiased, competitive quotes. Audience members were intrigued as sometimes they felt they pay the “Wellesley premium” (when contractors jack up prices in affluent towns).

For those that can not put solar on their roof, there are other options.
Is your house shaded? Do you rent? Resonant Energy offers a variety of community solar options for those that can not put solar on their own roof. The idea is that they put solar panels on large roofs (i.e.house of worship, school, etc.) which are leased, or owned by several individuals.

Another easy option is to choose renewable energy from Eversource and National Grid, or in Wellesley via its Municipal Light Plant’s Power To Choose program.

The theme for the evening was consider solar or some sort of renewable energy soon as they provide cleaner air & water, a stronger energy future, and greater energy independence.

If you missed this event and want to learn more, head over to Green Needham’s Solar 101 evening info session on Wednesday, June 7th from 7:30pm-9:00pm at the Christ Episcopal Church, 1132 Highland Avenue in Needham.

Local residents who attend the Trinity Covenant Church in Lexington wrote in recently to announce that after two years of planning and changing their plans due to solar caps and other issues, they finally have electricity flowing from the sun in a new 25KW Solar Canopy, which will offset 1/3 of their electric bills each year. Join them on May 20th from 4-4.30 to learn more.

Phyllis Theermann
Wellesley High School Student Getting Signatures

Wellesley High School Green Team Members Getting Signatures

Throughout September and October, Sustainable Wellesley and the League of Women Voters of Wellesley lead a joint petition drive to help put an updated bottle deposit question on the ballot in November 2014. Our two groups agreed to collect 1,000 signatures, and with the help of many other green groups in town, we blew past that goal and turned in almost 1,500 signatures! We were joined by volunteers from Friends of Brookside, Friends of Morse’s Pond, Temple Beth Elohim, Unitarian Universalists of Wellesley, the Village Church, and the students on the Wellesley High School Green Team. Lead by students Matthew Hornung and Korinna Garfield, the WHS Green Team collected 139 signatures from students who are registered to vote, faculty, administrators, and even drivers in the school carpool lane (see photo).

The ballot initiative proposes a five-cent deposit on single-serve bottles that contain non-carbonated drinks such as water, sports drinks, juices, and tea. The current bottle deposit law covers only carbonated beverage containers, and beer cans and bottles. By updating the law, Massachusetts is likely to see a dramatic increase in recycling rates. Currently 80 percent of the carbonated beverage bottles covered by the deposit law are recycled, but only about 20 percent of non-carbonated beverage bottles are being recycled. Statewide, we are consuming 1.3 billion non-carbonated beverages every year—enough to fill Fenway Park to the Monster seats, according to MASSPIRG.

Volunteers from the League of Women Voters, MASSPIRG, the Environmental League of Massachusetts, and the Massachusetts Sierra Club have been gathering signatures statewide and thousands of petitions are now being reviewed and certified by town clerks. The certified petitions will then be submitted to the Secretary of the Commonwealth for review.